Kaftan cloth–weaving calculations

October 15, 2011

Now that I know the sett of the kaftan cloth based on my sampling, in order to start winding the warp and to figure out how much dyed yarn the project will require, its time to recalculate my yarn needs. To see my previous estimate, go here.

I’ve chosen wool as the fiber for the Kaftan fabric, and the yarn I have selected is a 20/2 lace weight worsted wool made by Jaggerspun called Maine Line. I already have eight pounds of the “natural” color on hand bought about a year ago in anticipation for doing a large scale project like this.

The plan is to leave the warp threads white and to indigo dye the weft yarn. Since I’ve already woven several lengths of fabric like this before, I know, in general, this project will take approximately four pounds of yarn, but because I’ve never woven this particularly yarn at this particular density, I want to verify my assumptions.

I like to use an online warp calculator found here at Haley’s Studio. You can do all of these calculations manually as well. Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler has a chapter called “Planning A Project” that takes the weaver through this process.

Here is the information I need to in order to calculate my yarn requirements.

  • weaving width (44 inches)
  • yarn weight (5600 yards per pound)
  • sett (how many threads per inch on the warp – for this project, 36 ends per inch)
  • picks per inch (how many threads per inch on the weft – for this project, 36, ends per inch.
  • Finished length (8 yards)

Finished width is not as important to me as finished length. My thought process is that I will weave the widest possible length on my loom. I will get a finished width of at least 36 inches and that will be fine. I need enough fabric to make a coat, plus I’d like to have some fabric left over to use in other projects.

This is what I ended up with.

weft calculation image courtesy of Haley’s Studio

warp calculation image courtesy of Haley’s Studio

Based on this math, I’ll need much 50% more yarn for the warp than I initially thought. This is a great reason to do these calculations before each project. And I’ll need to dye at least 2 1/2 pounds of yarn for the weft. Since I already plan on dyeing 4 pounds, I’ll have plenty left over for future projects or to trade with other reenactors.

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